School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University

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Digital Storytelling: Skills for Journalism’s Future

Dr. Cindy Royal interviews Becca Aaronson of the Texas Tribune

Story by: Wesley Higgins

Texas Tribune’s Becca Aaronson kicked off the third annual Digital Media Entrepreneur Speaker Series with a discussion with Texas State students and faculty on Jan. 29.

Aaronson is the Texas Tribune’s Product Manager and is also a founding member of the nonprofit news site’s interactive data and visuals team. Aaronson spoke to a group of graduate and undergraduate students about the digital side of reporting and how to prepare for a newsroom like the Texas Tribune’s.

The discussion began with Aaronson telling students about how she learned to code and the importance of learning the skill.

“Coding is just like learning any language,” Aaronson said. “You just have to give yourself a reason to use the skills.”

Aaronson played a lead role in rebuilding the Texas Tribune’s website and believes the digital aspects of journalism “gives people more access and transparency.”

Digital Media Innovation (DMI) major Hunter Tigert said he believes the digital skills he is learning today will help him with creating his own content as well as getting a head start on developing his skills. The DMI major was recently brought to Texas State to teach students how to build both strong communications skills along with digital skills for new emerging roles in the digital media landscape.

“A lot of people out in the field today may not think of learning skills like coding and using tools like JavaScript while in school,” Tigert said. “It’s beneficial that we are learning it now instead of on-the-fly.”

Aaronson also spoke about how she stays focused and what it takes to prepare for a career after college.

“Being passionate about what you’re learning and working hard to learn will be helpful in your career,” Aaronson said. “Learning how to think is the most important thing about college.”

Electronic Media major Bryson Hennington felt motivated after the discussion and looks forward to his job search after graduation.

“I took away that being self-motivated and enjoying what you do is important in your work,” Hennington said. “I also realized that getting a job after college might not be that bad.”

The Digital Media Entrepreneur Speaker Series holds discussions for Texas State students with top professionals in digital entrepreneurship and will continue on Monday, Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m. in Old Main 320, with CEO of Chocolate Milk and Donuts Ricky Holm.

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This entry was posted on February 9, 2018 by in Classes, Digital Media, Journalism, New Media, Speaker Series.
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